Today is YOUR Day: 2013 International Youth Day

Today, August 12th is International Youth Day. Yes, our day.

It all started when the General Assembly of the United Nations suggested the establishment of this day in a 1999 resolution. According to the United Nations, 30 percent of international migrants are young people – that’s why this year’s theme is “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward.”

The UN is focusing on the 27 million international young immigrants and their exposure to discrimination and exploitation. A conference was held earlier today in the United Nations headquarters, as an opportunity to discuss youth migration issues and the launching of the 2013 World Youth Report.

Watch the story of Akhtar, a young Afghan migrant who faces the struggles of migration:

Below are some ideas that the United Nations has provided to take action on this important day:

-       Create an “info point” about youth migration-related issues in the center of town/village, at high schools, or at university centers.

-       Organize an exhibition Get permission to use a public space for an arts exhibit, which showcases the challenges of young migrants today or how young migrants, including returnees who are contributing to development at home and abroad.  Try to involve young people in the domains of culture, arts and music, to raise awareness on youth migration related issues.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said in a Forbes Magazine article today: “Young people – with their dynamism, their energy and their inherent understanding of our interconnected world – have much to teach us. Increased educational attainment, advances in technology and the spread of information have made this generation the best educated, most connected and most informed in history.”

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also commented on the positive and important cultural, social, and economic contributions that young immigrants bring to societies.

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